Rangitoto Island, aka “Auckland’s most iconic island”

Unlike Waiheke Island, which, though technically a Maori name, was named incorrectly (read about that here), Rangitoto Island is apparently the real deal. Rangitoto’s name has been translated to mean “the day the blood of Tamatekapua was shed,” relating to a major Maori battle at Islington Bay about 1350. – Rangitoto.org Congratulations, colonists, on using … Continue reading

Travel Writing: On Pink Pangea: Don’t Talk to Strangers, and Other Advice You Should Ignore

I’m on a roll, folks! My second piece of travel writing was posted on Pink Pangea this week, this one talking about advice you should probably ignore. Look both ways before you cross the street. Don’t take candy from strangers. These sayings, children’s fairy tales, and other cautionary stories are shared as warnings against potential … Continue reading

Gardening in New Zealand

One of the best things about New Zealand, as I’ll repeat time and time again, is the lack of snakes. No need to obsessively scan the trail ahead of me as I tramp in a remote area, no need to brace myself every single time I go to the toilet that there might be one … Continue reading

Travel Writing: On Pink Pangea: 5 Less Explored Networks To Use When Traveling

Oh happy day! My first official travel writing piece has been posted on Pink Pangea, the women’s travel writing community. The first thing I do when I’m thinking of traveling to a country, state, city, neighborhood, or side of the street other than the one where I’m currently living is tell everyone about it. Literally … Continue reading

Food: A Travelogue

I am not the ultimate foodie. My mother is. That woman has eaten bugs in Brazil, will crack bones open to suck the marrow out, and I’ve seen her absolutely relish the green stuff inside a cooked lobster’s stomach. I will happily admit that I am not that hardcore. I do, however, love food. The … Continue reading

Waiheke Island, AKA, another beautiful place Europeans misnamed

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of ferrying out to Waiheke Island, 19km/12mi off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island, eastward from Auckland. You may or may not be aware that the Maori are the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, and so many places are called their original Maori names (sort of). Great … Continue reading

Welcome to Parnell, Auckland, NZ

Warning: This is a post mostly about geography. Today is my fourth day in New Zealand. As I mentioned in this previous post, I jumped right into an apartment housesit situation, which is allowing me to settle into the country on my own terms and at my own pace. I’ve spent most of the last … Continue reading

Thoughts While Watching My First Live Rugby Game, aka, Go ALL BLACKS!

Prior to arriving, all of my research on New Zealand indicated that rugby is less of a national past time and more like the national religion. I can relate to this, as I have friends in Portland, Oregon for whom soccer takes a similar place in their lives. In fact, one particular couple is famous … Continue reading

Kia Ora, Welcome to New Zealand

It’s near-to-impossible to describe the exhilaration, disbelief, and surreal feelings I have at typing this from my current apartment housesit in AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND. I have waited years for this moment, and so to actually be here makes my head spin. There were several times on the plane – upon takeoff, once or twice during … Continue reading

5 Goodbye Gifts You Didn’t Know to Give a Traveler

What do you get your traveling friend when they’re about to embark on a journey? They’re busy paring down their lives, packing and repacking the one 50 lbs-or-less suitcase and personal carry-on item they’re allowed. You don’t want to shower them with impractical things they won’t end up bringing anyway. So what are your options? … Continue reading